Three things all governments and their science advisers must do now

Politicians and their science advisers need to get with the times and embrace open research. They should harness the collective expertise — now also accessible through social media — of virologists, epidemiologists, behavioural researchers and others who can help them to better interrogate their models, and therefore improve their decisions. This is imperative now, when they are making decisions on which the future of lives and economies depend.
— Läs på www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-00772-4

Communicating the coronavirus crisis | plus.maths.org

Short of citing the entire article, I just quote this essential early part. But do go read the whole piece. It is important now, and in the future, for anyone with any level of power.

The first thing is that you should be communicating a lot, consistently and with trusted sources. You have to be open and transparent. You have to say what you do know and then you have to say what you don’t know. You have to emphasise, and keep emphasising, the uncertainty, the fact that there is much we don’t know. Then you have to say what you are planning to do and why. Finally, you have to say what people themselves can do, how they should act. The crucial thing to say is that this will change as we learn more.

— Read on plus.maths.org/content/communicating-corona-crisis

Tack till Nicklas för pekaren.

System, Ingelstams bibel

”Den konkreta forskning som utförs i dag är emellertid ofta omedveten om det större systemanalytiska landskap som den rör sig i, liksom om analysens och systemtänkandets historia. Forskaren vet ofta lite om vilka teorier och metoder som finns att tillgå. Han har endast tagit del av ”system”-tänkande inom den egna disciplinen, i olyckliga fall endast som tredje- eller fjärde- handskunskap i förhållande till originaltankarna. Detta kan leda till mindre lyckade uppläggningar av den egna forskningen. En vanlig sådan är att man slaviskt förlitar sig på vissa färdiga (ibland datoriserade) modeller. En annan är att man alltför snabbt och tanklöst ansluter sig till en ”skolbildning” av stark lyskraft – men som kanske inte alls är den mest adekvata för pro- blemet. Inte så sällan kan en ”systems approach” stanna vid ett antal (i sig själva relativt harmlösa) språkliga besvärjelser.”

Läser om. Ladda ned eller beställ från Energimyndighetens förlag.

Hilarious traffic patterns

More developed examples: vehicle displays and engagement with people in close proximity via social media; tightly choreographed driving to wow the audience. Already visible in a crude form in Tokyo, this will become more nuanced and globally mainstream. While ad agencies looking for an edge will get away with ConvoyAds for a while, in a race to the bottom, they will be rapidly become a social nuisance. However, over time the local authority’s own urban sensing platforms will allow them to leverage retroactive fines to the advertisers based on annoyance/engagement, creating a viable ad platform.

read more here.

Scaling of Atypical Knowledge Combinations in American Metropolitan Areas from 1836 to 2010: Economic Geography: Vol 0, No 0

Cities are epicenters for invention. Scaling analyses have verified the productivity of cities and demonstrate a superlinear relationship between cities’ population size and invention performance. However, little is known about what kinds of inventions correlate with city size. Is the productivity of cities only limited to invention quantity? I shift the focus on the quality of idea creation by investigating how cities influence the art of knowledge combinations.
— Read on www.tandfonline.com/eprint/B776YCh9hQvsbAZBrJvT/full

Sorting things out – classification and its consequences

Our lives are henged round with systems of classification, limned by standard formats, prescriptions, and objects. Enter a modern home and you are surrounded by standards and categories spanning the color of paint on the walls and in the fabric of the furniture, the types of wires strung to appliances, the codes in the building permits allowing the kitchen sink to be properly plumbed and the walls to be adequately fireproofed. Ignore these forms at your peril � as a building owner, be sued by irate tenants; as an inspector, risk malpractice suits denying your proper application of the ideal to the case at hand; as a parent, risk toxic paint threatening your children.

To classify is human. Not all classifications take formal shape or are standardized in commercial and bureaucratic products. We all spend large parts of our days doing classification work, often tacitly, and make up and use a range of ad hoc classifications in order to do so. We sort dirty dishes from clean, white laundry from colorfast, important email to be answered from e-junk.

Finner anledning att läsa om denna pärla. Slår mig i eftermiddag att digitalisering är att mappa något analogt till diskreta kategorier. Alltså är denna bok (https://www.ics.uci.edu/~gbowker/classification/) helt applicerbar 15+ år efter sin utgivning, när det är ‘bra’ att digitalisera allt.